Current Postings

The postings below are all still active, and organized by deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they will be moved to the IABA Posting Archive, on the CBR Webpage

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Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 2, 2020

Open-Forum Articles and Reviews

https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/43910

Open-Forum Articles

Relating Otherwise: Forging Critical Solidarities Across the Kashmiri Pandit-Muslim Divide
Mona Bhan, Deepti Misri, and Ather Zia    

In this paper we reflect on a history of the textured relationships that Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits shared prior to 1989, a date widely framed in Kashmiri popular history and memory as the moment when communitarian relationships in the Kashmir Valley underwent a radical shift. Grounding our exploration in nine life narratives appended to this article by scholars, artists, poets, and writers, mostly Kashmiri, we seek to retrieve a textured understanding of the past, and envision alternative futures for inclusive community building. We complicate the romanticized discourse of Kashmiriyat—the ethos of shared cultural understanding in which cross-community relations between Pandits and Muslims are often cast—and instead propose that intersubjective understanding across the two communities can only emerge from the building of critical solidarities that engage histories of caste, class, gender, and militarization in Kashmir.

Relating Otherwise: Curated Narratives     

These are the accompanying life narratives for “Relating Otherwise: Forging Critical Solidarities Across the Kashmiri Pandit-Muslim Divide.” The nine authors—Zahir-ud-Din, Soniya Amin, Parvaiz Bukhari, Amit Bamzai, Sagar Kaul, Sagrika Kissu, Bhavneet Kaur, Huzaifa Pandit, and Fozia Qazi—reflect on the relationships that Kashmiris shared across religious communities prior to 1989.

(Un)veiled Women, Modernity, and Civilizing Missions: Selma Ekrem’s Legacy and the Suffrage Movement
Zeynep Aydogdu    

In Unveiled: The Autobiography of a Turkish Girl (1930), Selma Ekrem shapes her self-representation as a Turkish immigrant and “outstanding feminist” by appropriating the conventions of suffrage autobiography to appeal to her white middle-class suffragette audience. While drawing on long-standing Orientalist stereotypes of the harem and the veil, she also incorporates tenets of Turkish nationalist ideology to fashion a complex self-portrait that challenges a view of Turkish women as hapless victims of the veil and despotism.

A Self-Portrait of the Armenian Artist as Homo Sacer: The Biopolitical Limits of Hagop Mintzuri’s Life Writing
Maral Aktokmakyan           

This essay is an attempt to rethink the (im)possibility of Ottoman-Armenian writer Hagop Mintzuri’s autobiography after his life was biopoliticized in the nation-forming period of Turkey. Focusing on his memoir that gives an account for his stay in Istanbul before and after the Armenian Genocide in 1915, this essay probes the biopolitical limits operating not just on this particular self-narrative but also on the genre of autobiography.

Working Out Socialism: Labor and Politics in Socialist Autobiography in Twentieth-Century Poland
Wiktor Marzec        

This essay examines socialist workers’ autobiographies as inscriptions of the self unfolding from illicit political militancy in tsarist times to the establishment of actually existing socialism in twentieth-century Poland. The autobiographies written in state socialism pin together the workers’ strivings for a better life with their intellectual pursuits and their negotiation of the relationship between work and politics. While this essay is informed by an analysis of more than 100 biographical narratives of workers engaging in mass politics during the 1905 Revolution, it closely examines four typologically interesting cases. Most of these socialist autobiographies are loaded “time-vehicles,” written as gestures to legitimize the existing state socialism. However, they are embedded in earlier experiences such as proletarian autodidacticism, learning via socialist printings, and prewar socialist memory. At the same time, such life writing bears witness to real and imagined continuities between past socialist militancy and actually existing socialism. The politics of writing is necessary to understand socialist autobiography, and the prior life course of the writing workers is equally crucial to understanding state socialism.

What’s in an I?: Dissonant and Consonant Self-Narration in Autobiographical Discourse
Zuzana Fonioková                    

Combining narratological analysis with autobiography studies, this article looks at examples of focalization strategies in several autobiographical works. It adopts Dorrit Cohn’s distinction between consonant and dissonant self-narration (identification or distance between the narrating-I and the experiencing-I) to explore how authors engage creatively with different positions of the autobiographical “I,” and how this engagement contributes to their texts’ aesthetic qualities. Starting from a brief exposition of the role of the narrating-I and the experiencing-I in autobiographical narratives, the article discusses the juxtaposition of the two selves’ perspectives in Sylvia Fraser’s My Father’s House, which is achieved by means of a dexterous combination of consonant and dissonant self-narration. Examples of dissonant self-narration from Günter Grass’s Peeling the Onion and Christopher Isherwood’s Christopher and His Kind and of consonant self-narration from Mary Karr’s memoir trilogy (The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit) then demonstrate how self-dissonance may help convey a work’s meta-autobiographical message, while self-consonance seems to contribute to readers’ immersion in the narrative.

Biography in Contemporary France
Joanny Moulin                          

This article provides a survey of biography in France today, limiting its scope to biography considered as a distinct genre relative to other forms of life writing such as autobiography, memoir, or diary. It seeks to explain biography’s contrasted reception in France, where it is in fact very popular, though still apparently held in relatively mediocre esteem in academia, if not in the Académie. The study examines the historical and ideological reasons for the resistance that biography has long been met with in some academic walks. By contrast, it also demonstrates the vivacity of biography in France, with a presentation of the best-known French biographers and the main publishers, book series, and prizes devoted to the genre.

Queering the Family, Reclaiming the Father: Proustian Evocations in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home
Olga Michael       

Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic includes a number of intertextual references to Marcel Proust and his multi-volume novel Remembrance of Things Past. In this essay, I investigate the usefulness of these references in the narrative of Alison’s problematic relationship with her father, and I propose that they enable the structuring of queer gender and sexuality performances, which allow Alison to reclaim and reunite with her distant and ultimately lost father. As such, I point to the potential value of intertextual readings in identifying positive accounts of queer lives in the field of autographics.

Reviews

Women’s Life Writing and the Practice of Reading: She Reads to Write Herself, edited by Valérie Baisnée-Keay, Corrine Bigot, Nicoleta Alexoae-Zagni, and Claire Bazin
Reviewed by Patsy Schweickart      

Shared Selves: Latinx Memoir and Ethical Alternatives to Humanism,
by Suzanne Bost
Reviewed by Gillian Whitlock     

Ancient Biography: Identity through Lives, by Francis Cairns and Trevor Luke
Reviewed by Øivind Andersen      

Women’s Life Writing and Early Modern Ireland, edited by
Julie A. Eckerle and Naomi McAreavey
Reviewed by Sarah Covington       

Diaries Real and Fictional in Twentieth-Century French Writing,
by Sam Ferguson
Reviewed by Karen Ferreira-Meyers        

Secret Police Files from the Eastern Bloc: Between Surveillance
and Life Writing
, edited by Valentina Glajar, Alison Lewis, and
Corina L. Petrescu
Reviewed by Cristina Plamadeala      

The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life,
by Lee Humphreys
Reviewed by Hywel Dix    

Through the Looking Glass: Writers’ Memoirs at the Turn
of the 21st Century
, by Robert Kusek
Reviewed by Dagmara Drewniak         

Conversations with Biographical Novelists: Truthful Fictions
across the Globe
, edited by Michael Lackey
Reviewed by Laura Cernat  

Elusive Lives: Gender, Autobiography, and the Self in Muslim
South Asia
, by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley
Reviewed by Leila Moayeri Pazargadi    

Girls, Autobiography, Media: Gender and Self-Mediation
in Digital Economies
, by Emma Maguire
Reviewed by Lucy E. Bailey                    

Autobiography: A Very Short Introduction, by Laura Marcus
Reviewed by Margaretta Jolly          

Antonia White and Manic-Depressive Illness, by Patricia Moran
Reviewed by Lizzie Hutton            

The Wounded Self: Writing Illness in Twenty-First-Century
German Literature
, by Nina Schmidt
Reviewed by Franziska Gygax            

Picturing Identity: Contemporary American Autobiography in
Image and Text
, by Hertha D. Sweet Wong
Reviewed by Manoela dos Anjos Afonso Rodrigues                        For more information about subscriptions and submissions

https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/bio/

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Deadline for Submissions February 23, 2021

Women in the Nineteenth Century—Traveling, Writing, Speaking

Margaret Fuller Society

American Literature Association Conference

Boston, July 7–11, 2021


The writings of such women as Margaret Fuller, Catharine Sedgwick, Rebecca Cox Jackson, Betsey Stockton, Caroline Kirkland, Frances E. W. Harper, Eliza Potter, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, and Anna Julia Cooper, to name only a few, show the wide range of women’s reasons for and responses to travel. This panel proposes to question ways of thinking about traveling, including theorizing as well as representations (or silencings) of travel in the writings of Fuller and other women travelers, especially women of color. Whether focused on genres traditionally thought of as travel writing or on other modes in which women wrote and spoke, we would like to interrogate how motivations, encounters, itineraries, geographical locations, traveling equipment, and audiences have shaped literary, cultural, and political expressions in Fuller’s works and in that of women of her century. We are especially interested in ways that race and class, as well as gender, might have impeded or influenced modes of traveling and modes of writing about it. By including writing by Fuller and 19th-century women travelers, this panel aims to explore how these writers conceptualize travel, how they approach it as a topic, and how they respond to travel’s capacity to register physical and imaginative experiences, or to highlight or circumvent obstacles and impossibilities.

We welcome papers from scholars at any career stage. Paper proposals of 250-500 words and a short vita should be sent to Sonia Di Loreto (sonia.diloreto@unito.it) and Jana Argersinger (argerj@gmail.com) by February 23, 2021. Please note if you will require A/V for your presentation.

Deadline for abstracts: 27 February 2021

Announcement: Call-for-Papers

This call is for abstracts for a scholarly, international edited collection entitled, Writing Australian History on Screen: cultural, sociological, and historical depths in television and film period dramas “down under”.

Deadline for abstracts: 27 February 2021.

It could be said that Australia’s unique history has shaped the diversity of its peoples, and the Australian life-styles of today. Australia is both a very ancient and a very young nation. The diverse Australian Indigenous peoples were and still are the First Australians, and the true owners of the land. Despite the British Empire’s 1770 claim on the land as one of its colonies, and white Australia’s announcement of Australia as a nation with the birth of Federation in 1901, “Australia” was in fact a nation long before that; and so long before the British deportation of convicts to Australia and the subsequent arrival of the Anglo-Celtic-European settlers; and the supposed much earlier arrival of Chinese traders; and the much later arrival of the many different nationalities during the Gold Rushes. In more modern times, there is also the extensive immigration from many different nationalities and cultures, and Australia’s intakes of refugees. All these peoples, whether born in Australia or naturalized, are Australians though some hold dual citizenship.
The Australian nation’s history is closely tied to the national and cultural identity. In many countries, but perhaps more so in Australia, there is no single or fixed national identity. In actuality, an  Australian national identity does not exist rather there is a process of something that is unfurling or “becoming” some semblance of a sort of truth; there is no one history rather many diverse histories that overlay or color each the other; there is no one heritage or culture rather divers heritages and cultures; there is no one religion rather many; all of which sit together, side-by-side, and despite the common myths, not always so well or easily. Numerous writers note that in the Australian society there is a “visible” fracture, and also a disconnectedness between what many Australians have imagined themselves to be a part of in the past. The Australian histories, what came before and what has happened since, and how this has been incorporated or interpreted, together with the Australian environment and the geography of the land, and with Australia’s unique type of multiculturalism, has helped to shape what is variously described as the Australian character, and the society.
Australian television and film period dramas are involved in conversations about who the Australian peoples were, and who they are now in the current time. These types of productions work, or rework, the numerous factors involved in “telling” the Australian story, and in so doing explicitly and implicitly bring to light the many various issues that are as relevant to the Australian society today as they were in the period portrayed on screen. In exploring the deeper issues, these sorts of filmic dramas capture and convey something of the atmosphere/s of a particular time. Admittedly, these same issues may have been viewed differently and drawn different responses in the past to what happens now. Of course, with period dramas, the angle from which the issues are approached, the way in which past times are depicted, and the questions that arise from these discussions,  also depend to some degree or another, on the writer/s and the producer/s own points-of-view and particular agendas and artistic skills, as well as the message/s intended for, or inadvertently conveyed to, the viewer. It can be said that Australian television and film  period dramas raise big questions for the Australian society of today to ponder. Staying specifically with those produced in Australia, examples of these types of period dramas are: the hugely popular television series, The Sullivans (aired 1976-1983); Against the Wind (released in 1978); Redfern Now (aired 2012-2013); A Place to Call Home (premiered in 2013); and the much-loved films, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (first screened in 1978); Rabbit Proof Fence (released in 2002); The Dressmaker (released in 2015); Ladies in Black (premiered in 2018).
Some suggestions for potential contributors and questions that could be addressed may include but are not limited to:

  • What are some of the cultural and/or social aspects and issues raised in a particular Australian television/ or film period drama?
  • What are, and how do these types of productions convey, the differences or sameness between the fictionalized portrayals and the realities of the times, and social dictates of the Australian culture then in relation to those of today?
  • In Australian television and filmic period dramas, how might class, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, and history, shape these representations for the viewers?
  • Are there cultural or historical antecedents for consideration of portrayals of the Australian outlook in small and-or large screen period dramas?
  • How are the Australian viewpoints expressed in any one or two or more Australian period screen dramas conveyed to the viewer, and what might be the producers motivations in each case?
  • What makes Australian period drama TV/films distinct from (maybe even bolder than), say, their British counterparts? What happens when British dramas present Australia on film (for example, “Banished” (first released 2015) )?Is Australian history sometimes just a different backdrop or central to interrogating specific issues/themes?
  • How do these Australian dramas restore marginalized histories and voices?
  • Chapters about late 20th-c dramas as well as recently popular ones are encouraged, and could include APTCH, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Love Child, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Australia, My Brilliant Career, Gallipoli, Anzac Girls, Emma’s War, and more.

This collection of scholarly essays will make an intervention in the field: it will be the first of its kind to make a comprehensive study of Australian screen period dramas, to explore whether or not there are characteristic features of the Australian history/histories, culture, and psyche; to establish a new and dynamic area of theoretical research in history, social history, gender studies, cultural and social studies, and the humanities in general; to point the way to possible future work in an ever-expanding field of cross-disciplinary fields through examining various portrayals of Australian histories and the peoples; and to permit scholarly consideration of the extent to which the producers of Australian history narratives for screen, establish popular representations of periods that are an intrinsic part of the Australian society and culture as a whole.
Submission instructions:
At this initial stage, in lieu of “chapters,” this proposed work, Writing Australian History on Screen, calls for extended abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the book.

  1. The extended abstracts must be more than 1,000 and less than 1,500 words.

(Full-length chapters of 6,000 – 7,000words each (including notes but excluding references lists, title of work, and key words) will be solicited from these abstracts.)

  1. Please keep in mind that your essay-chapter will be written from your extended abstract. Your abstract will carry the same title as your essay-chapter.
  2. To be considered, an abstract must be written in English, and submitted as a Word document.
  3. When writing your abstract use Times New Roman point 12,and 1.15 spacing.
  4. At the beginning of your extended abstract, immediately after the title of your work and your name, add 5 to 8 keywords that best relate to your work.
  5. Use the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.
  6. Since this work is intended for Lexington Books, USA, please use American (US) spelling not English (UK) spelling, and not Australian English spelling;
  7. Use the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary;
  8. Use endnotes and not footnotes, use counting numbers not Roman numerals, and keep the endnotes to a bare minimum, working the information into the text where possible;
  9. Do cite all your work in your extended abstract as you would in a full chapter.

a) in the body of the abstract, add parenthetical in-text citations (family name of author and year, and page number/s) (e.g. Smith 2019, 230);
b) fully reference all in-text citations in alphabetical order, in the References list at the end of your abstract;

  1. Please send your abstract as a Word document attached to an email;
  2. To this same email please also attach, as separate Word documents, the following:
  • Your covering letter, giving your academic title/s, affiliation, your position, and your home and telephone, your home address, and your email contact details;
  • A short bio of no more than 200 words;
  • Your C.V., giving your publications to date, and the publishing details and dates.

Editors: Professor Julie Anne Taddeo, Research Professor of History, University of Maryland, USA,
and Dr Jo Parnell, Conjoint Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia. 
Papers should be forwarded to both editors:
Julie Anne Taddeo taddeo@umd.com
Jo Parnell Jo.Parnell@newcastle.edu.au  alternatively annette.parnell@newcastle.edu.au  or joandbobparnell@bigpond.com

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Deadline for Submissions February 28, 2021

“Literary [Non-]Fiction in Times of Crisis”, 13th May to the 15th May 2021

(Submission Deadline 2/28/2021)

CRISIS: “a time of great danger, difficulty, or confusion when problems must be solved or important decisions must be made” (OED)

The fall of the Berlin Wall; refugee movements across Europe; Brexit; political populism; divided societies in Europe and USA; or the pandemic of Covid-19 – it is almost unlikely to formulate a complete list of crises that have emerged in recent times. The notion of crisis, however, is by no means confined to the socio-political realm and its grand narratives/grand challenges. Personal, religious and identity crises seem idiosyncratic in essence, but are in reality experiences shared collectively by different cultures and generations. The idea that crises are not only destructive or arresting, but rather necessary for progress and/or self-development is communicated not only by means of historical accounts or political analyses, but also via personal life reviews as well as fictional, literary works. Literary [non-]fiction is, after all, the most multi-faceted medium of communication. Many times the individual’s need for literary (self-)expression is driven by the need to make sense of the surrounding reality [also by highlighting different versions of reality] and contextualize one’s personal, socio-political or environmental crisis. Facing a political/cultural/social/religious predicament, authors are often driven by an imperative to voice their disagreement over transgressions/half-truths/ lies/manipulations, which eventually makes one unable to turn away from the presumed obligation to right a wrong. This is why Nadine Gordimer once said that writing about ‘public policies’ [sensu largo], particularly if their impact on the social fabric is negative, corresponds to writing about morality.

Department of English Literature and Literary Linguistics is pleased to announce its conference, “Literary [Non-]Fiction in Times of Crisis”, to be held online at Adam Mickiewicz University from the 13th May to the 15th May 2021. The conference’s objective is to explore both writerly and non-writerly involvement, analyses and suggestions regarding descriptions of and possible solutions to the ills of a given society/community/individual and collective mindsets. Our intention is to set up an interdisciplinary dialogic space for academics interested in restoring the strength of referentiality in [non-]fiction writing, with the overall aim to make textual reality relevant again. Our invitation is addressed to researchers from various fields of scholarly investigation, including literary studies, culture studies, film studies, identity studies and other interdisciplinary studies.

Suggested topics include but are not restricted to:

SECTION I Socio-Political crisis in texts

Session Chairs: prof. dr hab. Liliana Sikorska [sliliana@amu.edu.pl] and prof. UAM dr hab. Ryszard Bartnik [rbartnik@amu.edu.pl]

* Black Lives Matter

* Wars [culture wars/terrorist extremism]

* Arab Spring [and other ‘revolutions’]

* Minority and human rights

* Brexit

* Political transitions of divided societies

SECTION II Psychological crisis in texts

Session Chairs: dr Katarzyna Bronk-Bacon [kbronkk@amu.edu.pl] and prof. UAM dr hab. Dominika Buchowska-Greaves [drusz@amu.edu.pl]

* Narration and representation of personal or collective trauma

* Crisis of identity and belonging

* Rites of passage in human life [motherhood/fatherhood; middle age/old age, crisis of faith]

* Sexual/gender assault/abuse/asymmetry

SECTION III Environmental crisis in texts [Ecocriticism]

Session Chairs: dr Jeremy Pomeroy [jerpom@amu.edu.pl] and dr Jacek Olesiejko [olesiejk@amu.edu.pl]

* The crisis of Anthropocene

* Climate change

* Pan- and epidemics

SECTION IV ‘Institutional’ crisis in texts

Session Chairs: dr Marta Frątczak-Dąbrowska [mfratczak@amu.edu.pl] and dr Joanna Jarząb-Napierała [joanna.jarzab@amu.edu.pl]

* Crisis of democracy

* Crisis of neoliberalism

* The [re]birth of populism

* Crisis of the state [Truth/Trust/Rule of law]

Authors are encouraged to prepare 20 minute presentations in English. Abstracts of around 300-500 words should be submitted to crisisandliterature2021@amu.edu.pl by the 28th February 2021 [in the event of any technical problems use the alternative email address crisisrb@amu.edu.pl]. In addition, we would like to inform about that the Department of English Literature and Literary Linguistics is planning to launch, presumably in 2022, a postconference publication, in cooperation with Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM. The full-length papers to be considered for this volume shall be peer-reviewed and must not be under consideration by any other journal or publication.

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Biographers International Organization (BIO)

is accepting applications for

The Hazel Rowley Prize
$2000 for an Exceptional Book Proposal from a First-time Biographer


This prize is given to the author of an exceptional book proposal for a full-length biography. In addition to the $2,000 award, the winner will have their proposal evaluated by an established literary agent. They will also receive a year’s membership in BIO, along with registration for the annual BIO conference, and publicity for the author and project through the BIO website, The Biographer’s Craft newsletter, and social media. The prize advances BIO’s mission to reach talented new writers in the genre. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021.  

For further information and application instructions, see https://biographersinternational.org/award/hazel-rowley-prize/#apply 

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Deadline for Submissions, March 1, 2021

2021 Oral History Association Annual Meeting CFP: “Moving Stories” (3/1/2021; 10/17-21/2021)

The OHA’s Call for Proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting is now open!

Find the portal here: https://convention2.allacademic.com/one/oha/oha21.

Find additional tips and guidelines for submitting here: https://www.oralhistory.org/submission-guidelines/.

Keep an eye out for additional information about the Annual Meeting here: https://www.oralhistory.org/annual-meeting/.

The deadline for submission is March 1. 

Proposal Queries may be directed to:

Nikki Yeboah, 2021 Program Co-chair (San Jose State University, nikki.yeboah@sjsu.edu)
Sara Sinclair, 2021 Program Co-chair (Columbia University, ses2235@columbia.edu)
Amy Starecheski, OHA Vice President (Columbia Oral History MA Program, aas39@columbia.edu)

For submission inquiries or more information, contact:

Faith Bagley, Program Associate, 615-898-2544, oha@oralhistory.org Contact Info: 

Oral History Association

Box 193/Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN. 37132 Contact Email:  oha@oralhistory.org URL:  http://oralhistory.org

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Deadline for Submissions, March 1, 2021

Call for contributions to a Journal of Scandinavian Cinema In Focus section highlighting Musical Biopics and Musical Documentaries from the Scandinavian countries

This is a call for short subject contributions (2000-3000 words) focusing on how Scandinavian film and television have presented musicians, singers, bands and orchestras in biopics and documentaries. We welcome submissions that – after a quick theoretical introduction and concise contextual background – offer discussions of topics such as:

– the film’s role within cultural memory – usually restricted to a single national market and often catering to a certain age group’s intragenerational memories

– the handling of generic conventions; from narration and characterization to the selection of music, casting choices and staging of performances

– the function of music in specific films and film genres

– marketing and authentification discourses, including media coverage of stars and their work with particular roles and performances, as well as screenwriters’ and directors’ use of biographies, interviews, original footage and recordings

– national and international reception of such films

Please send contributions to Anders Marklund (anders.marklund@litt.lu.se) and Ewa Mazierska (EHMazierska@uclan.ac.uk) by 1 March 2021. Make sure that you follow the most recent Notes for contributors, available at Intellect’s journal pages: https://www.intellectbooks.com/journal-of-scandinavian-cinema.  

The publication of the In Focus section will coincide with the eighth Lübeck Film Studies Colloquium discussion of the topic and with screenings of select musical biopics and documentaries at Lübeck’s Nordic Film Days festival. These events are arranged in October/November 2021 – with more information available (in due course) online at https://www.nordische-filmtage.de/en/index.html.  

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Deadline for Submissions March 5, 2021

CFP–Four Life Writing Forum Panels, Modern Language Association (3/5/2021; 1/6-9/2022) Washington DC, USA

Documenting Isolation
How do life writers make meaning of selves and experiences in/of isolation in or through their texts? Papers examining historical and/or contemporary life narratives of isolation invited. Submit 300-word abstract and bio.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, 5 March 2021
Megan Brown, Drake U (megan.brown@drake.edu ) Laurie McNeill, U of British Columbia (laurie.mcneill@ubc.ca )

Transnational Black Auto/biography

Papers on Black life writing engaging African diasporic transnationalism, self-representation, Black liberation, political activism, and/or intellectual analysis, from precolonial petitions to BLM auto/biographies and beyond. 300-word abstract and bio.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, 5 March 2021
Joycelyn K. Moody, Joycelyn Moody (joycelyn.moody@utsa.edu ) Angela Ards, Boston C (ardsa@bc.edu )

Memoir as Politics

How do life stories in various forms reflect and comment on political and social issues? Papers may address (but are not limited to) memoirs by politicians and other public figures. 300-word abstract and brief bio.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, 5 March 2021
Angela Ards, Boston C (ardsa@bc.edu ) John David Zuern, U of Hawai‘i, Mānoa (zuern@hawaii.edu )


Stories of Destierro
How to craft contemporary life stories of destierro: expulsion, banishment, and deportation? Who’s telling these stories, and in what forms? 300-word proposals focused on Greater Mexico and beyond.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, 5 March 2021
Sergio Delgado Moya, Emory U (sdelga4@emory.edu ) John David Zuern, U of Hawai‘i, Mānoa (zuern@hawaii.edu )

Players and Pawns: Political Childhoods, Political Children
Children’s Literature Division, MLA
Special Session, MLA (Modern Language Association) 2022

Location/Dates: Washington DC, 6-9th January, 2022

Deadline for submissions: March 5, 2021

“Think of the children,” we say, again and again using the child as the object of political discourse. Policies and laws governing everything from education and public health to minimum wage and sexual relations are enacted with the intent of protecting children and improving their lives. So often, however, children are denied the ability to be perceived and accepted as political agents themselves. In fact, when children and teens, such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint), and David Hogg, among many others, become involved in politics, adults often criticize their efforts, arguing that children possess neither the experiences nor the knowledge to be involved in political discussions or to advocate for policy changes.

 As children’s and YA literature affirms, children and teens both are used for the political gain of others and are themselves interested in politics. Drawing on children’s and YA literature, as well as films and other forms of youth media, this panel considers what it means to be a political child and/or how children are used by politicians. In other words, in what ways are children players in the game of politics, and in what ways are they pawns?

 Papers might consider the following questions:

 What are the politics of the child?

How is the political child constructed by adults? By children?

What kinds of childhood are instrumentalized by people in positions of power, and to what end?

What does it mean to “fight for the children?” How does the desire to protect children affect political children?

What is the child’s role in politics?

In what ways do children and teens resist political power?

How does the political child embody agency?

How might children politicize themselves?

Which possibilities or which limitations of children’s agency are inherent in political discourse?

Who is included and excluded from being a political child?

How does the political child collaborate with the political adult?

What is the politics of childhood without the guise of futurity?

What is the connection between anti-fascism and children’s and youth media?

Please submit 300-word abstracts and a brief biography to Miranda Green-Barteet (mgreenb6@uwo.ca) by March 5, 2021.

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Deadline for Submissions, March 21, 2021

Autobiography: excess, self-expenditure


19th International Meeting of the Scientific Observatory of Autobiographical Memory in Written, Oral and Iconographic Form

30 June 2021, 1-2 July
Academia Belgica, Via Omero 8
00196 Roma

Deadline for Submissions: March 25, 2021

organised by the cultural association Mediapolis.Europa
http://mediapoliseuropa.com/

in collaboration with Mnemosyne, Magazine scintifique – Presses universitaires de Louvain
https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/Mnemosyne

and

l’Academia Belgica
Via Omero 8- 00196 Roma
http://www.academiabelgica.it/

Preamble: In the current global situation due to Covid-19, the themes of excess, moderation, exaggeration, of ‘too much’, seem to be taking a particularly important place as we are forced to change our lifestyle. The limits imposed upon us may appear extreme to us, and yet even the old customs to which we compulsively adhered can be seen in a different light.

Proposals on this topic will be read with much interest. 

The excess

“Although an entire intellectual tradition sees the flight of the soul out of its material bonds to be a positive good, another learned tradition that also goes back to ancient sources appeals to a different sense of the word ‘excess’ to designate that which goes beyond the correct proportions in the material order itself.” (Starobinski J. 2008, p. 75).
Breaking boundaries and excess constitute the prime movers of different narrations in the first person. How are these behaviours delineated in self-narration? In what way do they construct a person’s identity? With which arguments and in which relationship with the idea of Power?
With this call for papers we intend to invite proposals that consider self-expenditure and excess in autobiographical writings. That is, autobiographies by both ordinary people and recognised individuals, which are not supported, legitimated, by ideological plaudit, be it political, religious, etc.
Every culture sets ethical boundaries with which every individual confronts oneself. Crossing  boundaries is allowed in certain liberating situations such as bacchanals or carnivals, but these are circumscribed in terms of time and space.
The unlimited and the infinite correspond to conceptions with different nuances: it is possible to go beyond recognised forms or to act in an infinite motus while denying the existence of boundaries.
Current parlance translates the idea of boundary using a vocabulary borrowed from geometry: measure, the right way, to be square, to be conclusive (that is, to remain within a circumscribed topic or area of action), etc. In medio stat virtus situates virtue in space. It is a locution of medieval scholastic philosophy that appropriated Aristotle’s conception.
Nicomachean Ethics, a posthumous publication by Aristotle (who lived from 384 or 383 to 322 BC), places at the centre of its reasoning endoxa, the common opinions of both ordinary and learned people. These endoxa are the boundaries that derive from society’s orientation. Aristotle does not necessarily share current opinions but appropriates them as the basis of social bonding. They appear as a behavioural diktat and have a pragmatic value. In Book II of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle writes that virtue develops pragmatically: one learns how to build by building, how to play cithara by playing it, etc.
How is ethics conceived of? “this is concerned with emotions and actions, in which one can have excess or deficiency or a due mean. […] Virtue, therefore is a mean state in the sense that it is able to hit the mean. […] so this is another reason why excess and deficiency are a mark of vice, and observance of the mean a mark of virtue (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II, 6).
Different autobiographies embody a willingness to go beyond the recognised and shared boundaries.
It is possible to establish a certain distinction between the behaviour whereby a boundary is recognised and overcome, and the practice of excess as complete rejection of the boundary, such as a way of acting ad infinitum.
As Jean Starobinski reminds us (Starobinski J., 2008, p. 76), the term ‘excess’ in the Bible refers to the exit of life, excessus vitae. An excess that does not recognise boundaries is a serious threat to the social system. “The myth of Dom Juan came about at a moment in European history when the subject of the inconstancy of the human heart and the related subject of its various drives—feeling, knowing, dominating (libido sentienti, libido sciendi, libido dominandi)—were intensely debated by the moralists of the day” (Ibidem).
The two great myths of modernity, Faust and Don Giovanni, are condemned due to two excesses: libido sciendi and libido sentiendi. Already the Middle Ages deplored sapiens mundi. Ulysses in Dante’s Inferno is an example of this.
In fact, excess practised ad libitum aims at laying claim to an eternalisation of one’s own behaviour, a transcendentality, replacing another power.
The exhibition held at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, on the occasion of the 200 th anniversary of de Sade’s death (2014), which was organised on the basis of de Sade’s various epistolary evidence, was entitled Attaquer le soleil: that is, aspiring to deprive the universe of the vital star, using it to burn the universe itself. (Le Brun A., 2014, p. 19).
Many autobiographical narrations in Romanticism (relating to dandyism, satanism, alcoholism, and others) would make excess the centre of their own existential narration.
In “Être comme excès”, Rocco Ronchi writes: “what opens to me the immensity in which I lose myself is the being as excess, a being deprived of material reality, throbbing, rhythmical – a being which has in itself an integral transcendence, a being that is uncontainable in the shape of identity and exceeds the space that reveals apophantic judgement. This being is not immobile, its manner of being – its essence in the verbal sense – rightly resides in the fact of transcending, of rotating outside of itself (I am borrowing this sentence from Marc Bloch), of getting lost and challenging oneself” (Ronchi R., 2000, p. 8).
The term ‘self-expenditure,’ therefore, has a particular role and different significant values. In sport, self-expenditure can be identified with what is at stake, the challenge, the individual risk outside of the great apparatuses.
“The Notion of Expenditure” by Georges Bataille (1933) examines how society imposes productivity in its entire spectrum. Society recognises the right to acquire, conserve or consume rationally, but it excludes the principle of unproductive expenditure (Bataille G., 1985, p.137). It is the principle of loss, that is, of unconditioned expenditure (Ibid., p.169). Societies in general, and the Western one due to their economic structure, do not want to squander the essence of their own assets and regard the person as an asset, a capital.
Acting in itself must not be in the service of any return or recompense. These are arguments to which Bataille returns in various writings (e.g. On Nietzsche, 1945). Concepts such as useful/useless, gratuitous/interested, arbitrary/imposed, are involved.
Is this a form of revolt? According to Camus, revolt embodies the very identity of the individual, his cogito (Camus A., 1951). The rebel does not recognise impositions: he is not a revolutionary and does not conceive of systems (revolution meaning strategic and preconceived acting aimed at achieving an ideal that overturns the status quo). The rebel fights against any ideological barrier and cage. Camus evokes the figures of Cain, de Sade, Saint-Just, Lautréamont, Rimbaud, Bakunin, Nietzsche.

The idea of anti-utilitarianism is ennobling. Self-expenditure without concatenations is in many respects a chimera. A grade-zero behaviour, without residues, cannot exist.
Nevertheless, taking shelter in the necessity of being productive (in every sense) may in turn constitute a form of power. Being losers may mean annihilating the power that the Other exerts on ourselves (Lippi 2008, p. 62).
Years ago, in an article published in Il Tempo (Pasolini P. P., 1973), Pasolini reviewed the autobiography of a Russian pilgrim, associating him with Lazarillo de Tormes. The pilgrim about whom Pasolini writes (who we understand from the text was 33 years of age in 1859) wanders with the prayer book Philokalia (love of the beautiful) and recounts his wanderings to a spiritual father.
Pasolini writes that the pilgrim and Lazarillo remain invincible in their resigned nature that annihilates the very idea of power due to excess of passivity: “There is nothing that proves power wrong so much as Resignation, which is actually a refusal of power in any form (that is, it makes it what it actually is, namely an illusion)”.
The implications of self-expenditure and the practice of excess are manifold, as you can see.
With this call for papers we intend to investigate the relationship between autobiographical narration as an expression of going beyond, as a pursuit of the extreme in relation to the concept of boundary, or as a practice of excess, understanding how, stated or implied, these components constitute the framework of the argument of the writing examined.

Some biographical references

ANONYMOUS, The Way of a Pilgrim: Candid Tales of a Wanderer to His Spiritual Father, translated by Anna Zaranko with an introduction by Andrew Louth, Penguin Books, 2017.
ARISTOTLE, Nicomachean Ethics, translated by H. Rackham, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1934. [Fourth century BC].
Georges BATAILLE, “The Notion of Expenditure” in Visions of Excess: selected writings, 1927–1939, edited by Allan Stoekl, translated by Allan Stoekl with Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie,
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 1985 (Originally published in La part Maudite,
Paris, Points, 1933). http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/bhobbs/Bataille-the-Notion-of-Expenditure.pdf
Julien BEAUFILS, Solenne CAROF, Anne SEITZ et Philipp SIEGERT, « Excès et sobriété. Construire, pratiquer et représenter la mesure et la démesure. Introduction », Trajectoires [En ligne], 10 | 2016, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2016, consulté le 18 octobre 2020. URL :
http://journals.openedition.org/trajectoires/2172 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/trajectoires.2172
Albert CAMUS, The Rebel, translated by Anthony Bower, London, Penguin Books, 2000.
Benvenuto CELLINI, Vita di Benvenuto Cellini, edited by Orazio Bacci, Firenze, Sansoni, 1901.
(Written between 1558 and November1562).
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1118599/f4.image
CASANOVA, Histoire de ma vie, Paris, Livre de Poche, 2004.
Mémoires de J. Casanova de Seingalt, écrits par lui-même, written in French, between 1789 and 1798, published posthumously in1825. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k314854/f1.image vv. I-
Thomas DE QUINCEY, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1821.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2040/2040-h/2040-h.htm
Annie LE BRUN, SADE-Attaquer le soleil, Paris, Musée d’Orsay-Gallimard, 2014.
Silvia LIPPI, “De la dépense improductive à la jouissance « bavarde»”, in Transgressions. Bataille, Lacan, edited by S. LIPPI, Toulouse, ERES, “Point Hors Ligne”, 2008, pp. 62-71.
URL: https://www.cairn.info/transgressions–9782749209753-page-62.htm
Marie José MONDZAIN, De l’excès, Théatre/Public 178.
P. P. PASOLINI, “‘Come pregare?’ ‘Come mangiare?’ Esperienze di un Prete e di un Letterato”, in Il Tempo, 11 February 1973.
Rocco RONCHI, “Une ontologie de l’excès”, Lignes, 2000/1 (n° 1), pp. 107-124. DOI : 10.3917/lignes1.001.0107. URL: https://www.cairn.info/revue-lignes1-2000-1-page-107.htm9
Jean STAROBINSKI, “Registers of Excess,” in Enchantment: The Seductress in Opera, translated by C. Jon Delogu, New York, Columbia University Press, 2008. (Originally published as Les
enchantresses, Paris, Seuil, 2005).
Lionel TERRAY, Les conquérants de l’inutile: des Alpes à l’Annapurna, Paris, Gallimard, 1961.

Autobiography: excess, self-expenditure
30 June – 1, 2 July 2021 – Rome

LANGUAGES ADMITTED FOR THE INTERVENTIONS: English, French, Italian, Spanish.

Every speaker will speak in their chosen language; there will be no simultaneous translation. A rough passive understanding would be desirable.
A) The deadline for the submission of papers is 25 March 2021. Candidates are asked to present an abstract of up to 250 words, with citation of two reference texts, and a brief curriculum vitae of up to 100 words, with possible mention of two publications, be they articles or books. These must be submitted online on the conference registration page of the http://mediapoliseuropa.com/ Website.
The scientific committee will read and select every proposal that will be sent to the conference registration page of the http://mediapoliseuropa.com/ Website. For any information, please contact the following: beatrice.barbalato@gmail.com, irenemeliciani@gmail.com,
Notification of the accepted proposals will be given by 30 March 2021.
B) In regard to enrolment in the colloquium, once the proposal is accepted the fees are the following:
Before 10 April 2021: 110,00€
From 11 April to 10 May 2021: 130,00€
Enrolment cannot be accepted in loco.
Ph.D. students:
Before 10 April 2021: 75,00€
From 11 April to 10 Mai 2021: 90,00€
Enrolment cannot be accepted in loco.
C) For information on registration fees, past symposia, the association’s activities, and the organising and scientific teams, please refer to our Website:
http://mediapoliseuropa.com/
The association Mediapolis.Europa contributes to the publication of the journal Mnemosyne, o la costruzionedel senso, Presses universitaires de Louvain, www.i6doc.com,
Indexed a scientific journal in:

https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/erihplus/periodical/info?id=488665

Scientific Committee
Beatrice BARBALATO,
Mediapolis.Europa May CHEHAB,
Université de Chypre Fabio CISMONDI,
Euro Fusion
Antonio CASTILLO GÓMEZ, univ. Alcala de Henares
(Madrid)
Giulia PELILLO-HESTERMEYER, Universitat Heidelberg
Anna TYLUSIŃSKA-KOWALSKA, Uniwersytet
Warszawski

Management
Irene MELICIANI, managing director Mediapolis.Europa

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Announcement: Call-for-Papers
This call is for abstracts for a scholarly, international edited collection entitled, Cultural Representations of the Second Wife: Literature, Stage, and Screen.
Currently I am seeking a number of academics and professionals in the field who might like to send me an abstract for consideration for inclusion in the book.

Deadline for abstracts: 3 April 2021.
In any culture, religious and cultural beliefs are inseparable, and intrinsic one to the other, and are important to the marriage  customs and laws.

Regardless of whether a culture is mainly monogamous or polygamous, one female figure that attracts attention is the second wife. A woman may become the “second wife” either by fact or by custom, or by religious law, or by de facto relationship, or by concubinage. In most though not necessarily all cultures, and according to the religious and cultural beliefs and laws of a culture, as well as the civil laws of that country, a man who has been but is no longer married may remarry; and in some cultures also, a man who is currently married may marry or take a second wife who may or may not have been formerly married to some different man. In some other cultures, cultural customs, or religious dictates, or accepted practices, or inheritance factors, forbid men who are divorcees or widowers to remarry. Similarly, and perhaps more so than with men, some cultures forbid widows or divorced or abandoned women from remarrying.

It is generally understood that whether she is welcomed by her new in-law family, or not, the first wife as a new wife, brings with her some baggage into the new relationship, into the life of the man she weds, and hence into the family into which she marries, and ultimately into that society; but perhaps this is more so in the case of the second wife.  From antiquity to the present, like the first wife, the second wife features in stories, anecdotes, and jokes, and in both high and low culture, but in a way that is vastly different to how the first wife is depicted. The concept of the second wife is an important part of social and cultural history and ritual in most societies, world-wide, yet it would seem that to date, there are no published scholarly edited collections, no academic books, on representations of the second wife from the angle suggested in this cfp.

In can be said that in any culture, the role of the second wife may differ to that of a first wife. The act of becoming and the experience of being a second wife may also be somewhat different to that of being a man’s first wife. Questions arise: within any culture, regardless of her status as a woman, what are the implications for a woman who marries a widower or divorced man? Likewise, what are the implications for a second wife in a polygamous relationship? This scholarly edited collection will reveal how the personal expectations and actual experiences of the second wife may differ from the social and cultural expectations and realities of the role of the second wife; and how the second wife may be perceived in the popular and social culture of various cultures, in screen, stage, and literary productions and pop culture narratives.

Some suggestions for potential contributors to consider, and that could be addressed, may include but are not limited to are:

  • What are the cultural and social duties of the second wife; what are the cultural expectations of her; and what are her personal realities and expectations, as represented in the popular culture of a particular culture/society? Is it possible to detect differences or sameness between the fictionalized portrayals and the realities and social dictates of that culture?
  • What are the distinctions between how the second wife has been typically represented in jokes and anecdotes, to that in popular and social culture as literature, film, drama, and television?
  • How do class, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, and possibly history, shape representations of the second wife?
  • Are there any powerful cultural or socially historical antecedents for the representation of the second wife in popular/social culture, as screen, stage, and literary productions?
  • What are the creators and/or the producers intentions behindtheir portrayals of the second wife; what are the messages or lessons they intend for their audiences through these depictions?
  • How would we establish the underlying cultural, historical, or production motivations for particular depictions of the second wife?
  • How often, if at all, are these representations told from the point-of-view of the second wife herself?
  • What is the range of ways in which the second wifeis represented in the popular/social culture of the various societies?
  • Is it possible to identify contemporary writers of popular culture in literature, film, and drama, who center their work on representations of the second wife?Do any of these writers illuminate individual representations of the second wife figure in a new and innovative way?
  • Is there a difference between the ways in which the second wife is represented in cinematic film to that in small screen, and between those mediums to representations in drama, and to literature? Or in these representations, is there a reasonably broad consensus between these genres?

This collection of scholarly essays will make an intervention in the field: it will be the first of its kind to make a comprehensive study of what being a second wife means to and for the woman, the family, the community, the culture, and the society to which she belongs; to explore whether or not there are characteristic features of the second wife between cultures that may have either some similarity, or that are totally dissimilar, in popular belief and popular culture; to document and record how various eastern and western societies perceive and represent the socially and culturally important figure of the second wife in screen, stage, and literary works and pop culture narratives; to indicate if there is agreement or difference between the various cultures on how the figure of the second wife is represented in popular culture to the viewing/reading audiences; to establish a new and dynamic area of theoretical research crossing family studies, women’s studies, cultural studies, social history, gender studies, social studies, and the humanities in general; to point the way to possible future cross-disciplinary work through examining various peoples and societies by way of cultural representations of the second wife; and to permit scholarly consideration of the extent to which the creators and producers of narratives about the second wife place this figure on the perimeter of society or at its center.

Submission instructions:
At this initial stage, in lieu of “chapters,” this proposed work, Cultural Representations of the Second Wife, calls for extended abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the book.

  1. The extended abstracts must be more than 1,000 and less than 1,500 words.

Full-length chapters of 6,000 – 7,000words each (including notes but excluding references lists, title of work, and key words) will be solicited from these abstracts.

  1. Please keep in mind that your essay-chapter will be written from your extended abstract. Your abstract will carry the same title as your essay-chapter.
  2. To be considered, an abstract must be written in English, and submitted as a Word document.
  3. When writing your abstract use Times New Roman point 12,and 1.15 spacing.
  4. At the beginning of your extended abstract, immediately after the title of your work and your name, add 5 to 8 keywords that best relate to your work.
  5. Use the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.
  6. Since this work is intended for Lexington Books, USA, please use American (US) spelling not English (UK) spelling, and not Australian English spelling;
  7. Use the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary;
  8. Use endnotes and not footnotes, use counting numbers not Roman numerals, and keep the endnotes to a bare minimum, working the information into the text where possible;
  9. Do cite all your work in your extended abstract as you would in a full chapter:

a) in the body of the abstract, add parenthetical in-text citations (family name of author and year, and page number/s) (e.g. Smith 2019, 230);
b) fully reference all in-text citations in detail and in alphabetical order, in the References list at the end of your abstract;

  1. Please send your abstract as a Word document attached to an email;
  2. To this same email please also attach, as separate Word documents, the following:
  • Your covering letter, giving your academic title/s, affiliation, your position, and your home and telephone numbers, your home address, and your email contact details;
  • A short bio of no more than 250 words;
  • Your C.V., including a full list of your publications and giving the publishing details and dates, and including those in press, and published.

Editor: Dr Jo Parnell, Conjoint Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia. 
Papers should be forwarded to:  
Jo Parnell at: Jo.Parnell@newcastle.edu.au  or annette.parnell@newcastle.edu.au or joandbobparnell@bigpond.com

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Deadline for Submissions April 15, 2021

Jan Schroeder / Carleton University   contact email:  janiceschroeder@cunet.carleton.ca

Ordinary Oralities: Everyday Voices in History

Edited by Josephine Hoegaerts and Jan Schroeder

Histories of voice are often written as accounts of greatness: great statesmen, notable rebels, grands discours, and famous exceptional speakers and singers populate our shelves. This focus on the great and exceptional has not only led to disproportionate attention to a small subset of historical actors (powerful, white, western men and the occasional token woman), but also obscures the broad range of vocal practices that have informed, co-created and given meaning to human lives and interactions in the past. For most historical actors, life did not consist of grand public speeches, but of private conversations, intimate whispers, hot gossip or interminable quarrels. It also did not exclusively take place in the chambers of political power, or splashed across the columns of national newspapers. Most voices in history, as Arlette Farge notes in Essay pour une histoire des voix,[1] left their traces only unwillingly, or not at all. The longstanding project of “recovering” the voices of the silenced or marginalized has tended to privilege voice as a metaphor for (stolen) human agency, at the expense of a thorough understanding of the practical materialities of ordinary uses of the voice.    

In order to meaningfully include voices and vocal practices in our understanding of history, we suggest an extended practice of eavesdropping instead. Rather than listening out for exceptional voices, this volume calls for contributions that listen in on the more mundane aspects of vocality, including speech and song, but also less formalized shouts, hisses, noises and silences. Moving away from a narrative that centers the public voice, and its use as a political tool and metaphor, we aim to edge towards a history of voice as a history of encounter. Insisting on the intersubjective nature of voice, and its often uncanny ability to ‘travel’ across different personal, social and cultural divides, we aim toward an expansive history of everyday vocality, accounting for the multiplicity and materiality of historical voices. Along with Ana María Ochoa Gautier, we call for an “acoustically tuned exploration” of the archives,[2] on the understanding that ordinary voices in history are not neatly proffered up by single documents, but are often fleeting and muted, and dispersed across textual sites with different stated purposes. 

The volume therefore also aims toward geographical and chronological breadth, from any region of the globe, from roughly the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Contributors to this volume seek out spaces and moments that have been documented idiosyncratically or with difficulty, and where the voice and its sounds can be of particular salience. Although the voice, as Jonathan Rée has pointed out, can never be stored and preserved as it is,[3] it does leave traces – and stubbornly following those can lead us away from the conventional grain of the archives[4] and their (institutionalized) logic. Including methods and documents that defy the disciplinary constraints of the modern archives and its historiography[5] will also, we hope, help to make space for an exploration of the mundane encounters that took place throughout history across boundaries that historiography has both uncovered and amplified. Listening in on talks, shouts, and whispers between mistress and servant, adult and child, human and more-than-human, between speakers of different languages and inhabitants of different worlds – or hearing some voices failing to be heard by others  – the volume centers concrete practices of speech and sound. 

Rather than exploring what exceptional or symbolic voices have accomplished in the public sphere or for the historical record, our attention is geared towards vocal materiality: the sounding qualities of concrete human voices, as they were projected by concrete, tangible bodies in both public and private spaces: the home, the street, the schoolroom, the market, the prison, the chapel, the workplace. That also implies an interest in the visible and material characteristic of those bodies, and their changing cultural meaning over time: voices were produced not only in particular places and for particular ‘period ears’, but also at the intersection of culturally fluid corporeal practices of gender, age, ability, race and class. A focus on ‘who’ speaks has, in work historicizing ‘great speeches’ in the context of biography often served to obscure those characteristics, insisting on universalistic notions of authority instead. This volume, too, argues for a heightened attention to who speaks, and whose voices resound in history, but refuses to take the modern equation between speech and presence/representation for granted.

Proposals for chapters are welcome by early career scholars and established researchers alike. We invite abstracts of approximately 500 words, with final submissions of approximately 6000 words. Please send abstracts by April 15 to the editors.  De Gruyter has expressed interest in publishing this collection in both paper and e-book formats.

Proposal Deadline: 15 April 2021

Deadline for completed chapters: 15 October 2021


[1] A. Farge, Essay pour une histoire des voix, 2009.

[2] A.M. Ochoa Gautier, Aurality, 2014, p. 3.

[3] J. Rée, I See a Voice, 1999.

[4] A.L. Stoler, Along the Archival Grain, 2008.

[5] C. Steedman, Dust, 2002.

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Deadline for Submissions, April 15, 2021

Autobiography Panel, 118th Annual PAMLA Conference (4/15/2021; 11/11-14/2021)

118th Annual Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association Conference

Thursday, November 11, 2021 to Sunday, November 14, 2021

Virtual and In-Person Panels, Sahara Las Vegas Hotel

Hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

PAMLA’s Autobiography panel is currently accepting submissions!

We are open to a wide range of paper topics dealing with subjectivity, authorship, auto-fiction, and identity, but are particularly interested in papers that take new interdisciplinary approaches to Autobiography. As such, papers that draw on cognitive science, psychology, phenomenology, critical race theory, gender theory, or intersectionality in their analyses of Autobiography are particularly welcome. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: collective autobiography; techniques of self-narration; self-fashioning; neuroaesthetics; intersectional subjectivity; philosophy of race. We are also interested in papers attuned to some facet of the conference theme, “City of God, City of Destruction.”

Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2021

Submit an abstract directly through the Autobiography panel submission page, or search the PAMLA comprehensive Call for Papers. Contact Emily Travis (etravis@ucsc.edu) with any questions.

About PAMLA and this year’s theme:

The Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association is a scholarly association designed for those teaching or conducting research in a diverse range of literary, linguistic, and cultural interests, both ancient and modern, in the United States and abroad. PAMLA members include faculty and students in language and literature departments in colleges and universities, as well as interdisciplinary scholars from other disciplines and independent scholars.

This year’s theme, “City of God, City of Destruction,” seeks to take the “form analysis” of Las Vegas in a religious direction, considering this shimmering city in the desert as both celestial emblem and den of sin. More broadly, the 2021 PAMLA conference, while welcoming paper proposals on a wide variety of topics, invites meditation on the connections between ideas of the city and the forms of fiction, and the way both may be informed by a religious poetics.

Deadline for Submissions November 15, 2021

Call for Papers 

EXPERIMENTAL LIFE-WRITING  

22-23 April 2022, Wrocław, Poland
University of Wrocław and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 

Conference website: http://vanessaguignery.fr/


The capacious category of life-writing accommodates conventional biography and autobiography – with their insistence on linearity, coherence and a stable sense of the self – as well as auto/biographical works that embrace digital media, mix genres and break down neat life narratives into fragments. In order to give a name to the disruptive strand of the auto/biographical tradition, Irene Kacandes has proposed the term “experimental life-writing,” which encompasses texts employing an unconventional formal device “for the purposes of fact or of enhancing, reinforcing or drawing attention to the referential level.” They are driven by the desire “to convey some aspect of the ‘realness’ of certain life experiences that could not be conveyed as well without pushing at the form itself.” Kacandes distinguishes between experiments regarding time, medium, the relation between the author, subject and reader, and the work’s focus. Julia Novak goes on to define “experiments in life-writing” as works that “push at the boundaries of existing forms to mould them into something that better suits the writer’s efforts of representation.” In her co-edited volume (with Lucia Boldrini) Experiments in Life-Writing (2017), she suggests an alternative classification, based on experimentation with the auto/biographical subject, generic composites, style, structure, intertextuality and metalepsis, names and pronouns, and media. 1975 – the year of the publication of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes and Joe Brainard’s I Remember – can be viewed as the onset of that overtly experimental streak in auto/biographical writing, which has recently yielded such diverse works as David Clark’s 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (2008), Joan Wickersham’s The Suicide Index (2008), Anne Carson’s NOX (2010), Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015), Una’s Becoming Unbecoming (2015) and Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House (2019). However, as Max Saunders has argued, that tradition can be traced back to the Modernist practice of autobiografiction and claim such literary classics as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928) and Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933). 

Our conference aims to theorize, historicize, and exemplify the still very fresh critical notion of experimental life-writing. We have a particular interest in contemporary Anglophone writing and welcome comparative papers about works in English and other languages. Possible issues and forms to explore in conference papers include (but are not limited to):  

  • fragmentary life-writing, 
  • genre-defying graphic memoirs, 
  • multimodal, multimedia and collage-like life-writing, 
  • digital/online biography, 
  • conceptual (life-)writing, 
  • postmodern life-writing and avant-garde autobiography, 
  • anti-biography, 
  • fake auto/biography, 
  • the self as archive/database, 
  • digital identities and the quantified self, 
  • auto/biography and social media, 
  • formal experimentation in the context of trauma, grief and/or radical vulnerability, 
  • queer life-writing, 
  • autobiography in the second or third person, 
  • generic hybridity in life-writing, 
  • unconventional relations between the author, narrator, subject and reader, 
  • playing with frames/framing, 
  • pedagogical implications of experimental life-writing. 

Proposals (ca. 300 words), together with a biographical note, should be sent to Vanessa Guignery (vanessa.guignery@ens-lyon.fr) and Wojciech Drąg (moontauk@gmail.com) by 15 November 2021. 

Keynote speakers: Irene Kacandes, Teresa Bruś and David Clark.